Bye bye iTunes

I have been loking to get a new MP3 player for a few weeks now. I was holding back because I hoped that Macworld Expo would bring a decent new iPod mini. Or a new iTunes with better functionality.

Then guess what happened? The iPod shuffle.

I really do like the iPod and iTunes, but it’s time both of them evolve in terms of functionality. iTunes rocks, but its playlist management needs an update.

I was close to buying an iPod mini. but all the talk about battery problems made me check out alternatives. I quickly arrived at the Creative Zen Micro.

Tarek also got one and liked it. I was hesitating to get one because I feared not being able to sync with iTunes would set me back in terms of MP3 management, but then I discovered that Creative has an update for the Zen that allows it to “autosync with Windows Media Player 10”. Not knowing WMP at all, I didn’t know what that meant exactly, but it was enough to influence my buying decision.

There are some more things that made me chose the Zen over the iPod mini:

  • 1 Gig more disk space
  • More included accessories
  • exchangeable battery(!!)
  • a microphone for recording
  • a radio with recording possibility

So, how do I like it? Maybe it’s a bit early for a judgement, but the first impression is actually very good. The build quality may be a bit worse than the iPod’s, but everything else is just fine. The sound is great, and contrary to some revies I read, I don’t have any problems at all using the touchpad.

WMP10? Slower than iTunes, bloated interface – but syncing works as advertised. And the playlists seem to offer more flexibilty.

Maybe more after a few weeks….

Oh, and Apple: should you decide to support syncing to anything other than the iPod: let me know! (Wouldn’t it be a clever hack to support all those “Plays For Sure” devices???)